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HSC is near and I'm so lost.

Community Member

HSC is exactly 12 days away.


I'm not really coping well; procrastination, breakdowns and stress are all I have been doing ever since the end of trials. I used to be good at academics, especially in junior years, I used to love learning. And then COVID hit, that's when I started to become lazy and nonchalant. Although I participated in classes, I didn't do the homework or make any good habits. Now HSC is so close and I'm on the verge of giving up.


During Trials, I was doing everything last minute, especially memorising. I still have time to study and plan for the HSC but I'm not really that confident in myself anymore. I do 5 subjects and from my trials results, I've failed like three, my rank isn't that good either. My school isn't the best so I'm not sure how my cohort will preform and I probably won't get that good of an overall mark unless I preform really really well.


I've read the other forums and discussions on here about HSC, and that's exactly how I feel. Lost, trapped, depressed and even hopeless. I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel but right now, it feels as though everything is doomed and that I'm probably going to get an ATAR that won't get me to any university.


I know the hype about ATAR lasts about a couple of days and after that no one cares, but to my family, it means the world. I have a brother who's ATAR is 99+. I know that I won't ever live up to that expectation but I don't know, I just wish that was me but I know I didn't put in the effort.


Honestly, I don't know what to do or where to start, I just sometimes want to curl into a ball and cry because I'm not motivated to do anything. When I tell my parents that I might be burnt out or just depressed, they just shrug me off and tell me that's not how it works.


I know some of my friends who are taking a gap year but I know that's not an option for me. 


I just, I don't know, already feel like a failure to everyone.

7 Replies 7

Hi doubletime,

Welcome to the forums, and thank you for sharing this. It sounds like you’ve been going through a really difficult time with a lot going on, and it’s so important to be kind to yourself while you work through it. We're sorry you've been feeling like a failure. From our perspective, you've taken an incredibly brave step in opening up here and that can be a really powerful first step towards dealing with an incredibly challenging time. 

Our lovely community members will be able to relate to some of the things you mention here, and may be able to share some of the wisdoms that have helped them. We’re sure they’ll spot your thread and share their perspectives here soon. In the meantime, here’s some things you might like to look at: We hope you know that the Beyond Blue line is here for you on 1300 22 4636 (or on webchat).

Thanks again for sharing. We’re here to listen and offer support, and you never know how your story might help someone else.

Kind regards,

Sophie M

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi DT, welcome


When we are in the situation you are in, this forum shines because, well, people around us have every reason not to understand us. Stress, depression, anxiety and all things in between are visibly invisible, they cant see our anguish, they are also not in our situation. Hence this forum helps plug that gap.


Firstly what is "normal". Well "normal" is what is normal for YOU, no one else. To feel like you are going through a meltdown is not comparable to any other students. So what can you do right now to help ease the feelings you are experiencing now?


  • Often underestimated, deep breathing helps. It wont give you an immediate feeling of relief but over a couple of days you will benefit from it. Lie down and take really deep breaths, hold them in for a few seconds then exhale. 20 minutes each time. Over time you'll do this even walking to school or on a bus.
  • Unrealistic expectations. If you go through all challenges in life with the view- "I did my very best" then your best is always good enough. Eg if you give your best and you dont pass HSC and have to reconsider the next stage you would know you gave it your best attempt. That would be realistic expectation. 
  • That leads me to worry. Worry gives you one thing in life- ulcers.  -  https://forums.beyondblue.org.au/t5/anxiety/worry-worry-worry/td-p/87808
  • Praise. Self praise has to be the most underrated effect on us. We cant expect to rely on others to give it to us, yet we need it so much. https://forums.beyondblue.org.au/t5/staying-well/the-best-praise-you-ll-ever-get/td-p/134999
  • Sleep. Also underestimated. The problem is we dont realise we are tired which makes us moody, that causes us to respond to others as if they dont care when in fact they love us. https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/staying-well/sleeping-well
  • Planning and balance.  You are days away from your exams. What you havent learned by now might not benefit you. Wisely get thing into perspective.

I hope that helps and good luck. "Trying to save the world will lead you to disappointment".



Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello doubletime,


It's understandable why you're feeling unmotivated, with so much pressure and little support from your parents, anyone would find it difficult to cope. Could you perhaps talk to your brother about what you're feeling? He's been through the same experience as you and could maybe even help your parents understand the pressure they're placing on you. 


At the end of the day, you are doing the best you can. If you can, try to be kind to yourself, stay in the present and don't worry too much about the future. 12 days is still plenty of time. Set up a schedule for each of the remaining 12 days and focus on the tasks you need to complete on each day.


You don't need a very high ATAR to get into university. There are many courses where you need only a score in the 50s or 60s. Mature age entry into university is also an option where your ATAR is not even considered and you only need to be over 21 years of age. 


We don't know what the future holds and there are so many pathways to get into university or build a successful career. 


Wishing the best,


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi doubletime, a huge welcome to the forums. I'm so glad you joined and shared part of your story here. 


"PART" of your story. 

The HSC is merely part of your whole life. 


Not to diminish the stressors you're feeling right now. 

12 days means you're 12 days closer to being free of this tremendous stress.

You're in a very similar situation as I was many moons ago. 
My Trial mark was far less than I needed to get into Uni. My High School was woah really rough, I won't expand about this much. From 180 students in Year 10 only 12 of us sat the HSC exams. But some stars emerged from there. 


My HSC mark surprised me! I made it into the Uni of my choice by TWO marks lol. 


Let's simplify your work load to get through this time. I'll write some pointers that could help, see this as a Menu, choose what suits you: 
* set a timer for 30 mins, 
* write notes in dot points or I've been told recently to write an Essay on each topic and study this (my kids are far better at this than me!)
* STOP at 30 mins - take a break for 30 mins or so
* SELF CARE TIME! Yay! Eat a healthy meal, go for a bike ride, do yoga, spend time with pets, have a shower, paint your nails, whatever...




The HSC is a marathon but you're near the end. 


PLEASE be so proud of yourself! 


Sorry, "failure" is not a worthy word in reference to such great fortitude you've shown over the past few years and through a Pandemic of all things! 
Doesn't matter how you handled that, you're still HERE, so you're a SUCCESS!!! 


You're gonna get through this. Hold tight. Gentle plans. 
You've got this, just remember us oldies need you to get through this to look after us in our old age lol - just saying, 
Love EM

Thank you WK! I highly appreciate you taking time out of your day to talk to me, I've read through the other forums you've attached and they're very insightful 🙂

Community Member

Hi Beeee 🙂 


I do talk to my brother, however, at times it's a bit difficult to get my message across. Most of the time he's busy with his own uni work and so he doesn't really have time to talk with me. We sometimes do discuss how I can prepare for my next set of exams and e.t.c but it's still hard for me to explain to him things because his experiences in school don't really align with mine.


Anywho, thank you for the advice, I really appreciate it 😆

Thank you so much for talking to me EM!


I feel really seen now that you've said all that, I really appreciate it. 


I sometimes don't really know what to do with myself when I see that I've spent the entire day stressing over the amount of work I have to get through and I haven't done as much as I would like to. I sometimes think of staying up or cutting my sleep short because I haven't accomplished as much. 


I see everyone around me who's studying and all that and then when I look at myself, I do feel as though I'm not trying my best; but sometimes I just can't get myself to do the work. I'm aware that in order to be motivated, you need to do an action and then the cycle would continue but as soon as I sit at my desk, I get so tired and I feel as though I'm burnt out. That's another reason why I think I'm a failure and I don't really know how to "solve" that.